Feb. 7, 2020

 

           

 

This week at the

General Assembly

 

STATE HOUSE — Here are the highlights from news and events that took place in the General Assembly this week. For more information on any of these items visit http://www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease

 

 

§  House passes bill notifying State Police and police in gun buyer’s hometown
The House of Representatives passed legislation (2020-H 7103Aaa) introduced by Rep. Daniel P. McKiernan (D-Dist. 7, Providence) that would require gun sellers to forward firearm applications to the superintendent of State Police and the police department of the city or town where the buyer resides. The measure now moves to the Senate where similar legislation (2020-S 2154) has been introduced by Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere (R-Dist. 38, Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly).
Click here to see news release.

 

·         Senate passes Lynch Prata bill that raises the minimum wage to $11.50

The Senate has passed legislation (2020-S 2147A) introduced by Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston) that would increase the hourly minimum wage to $11.50.  The current minimum wage is $10.50 and was instituted on Jan. 1, 2019.  Rep. David A. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced similar legislation (2020-H 7157) in the House.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate introduces legislative package to address high prescription costs
The Senate introduced a package of bills aimed at addressing the high price of prescription drugs. The eight bills aim to reduce the cost of prescriptions by providing a pathway to import less-costly drugs from Canada, providing more market transparency, raising consumer awareness around price changes and limiting patients’ share of the costs.
Click here to see news release.

§  Leader Shekarchi bill would require full insurance coverage for EpiPens
House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) has introduced legislation (2020-H 7265) to require health insurers in Rhode Island to cover the full cost of life-saving epinephrine injectors, commonly known by the brand name EpiPen.
Click here to see news release.

§  Sen. Goodwin, Rep. Slater to submit Nursing Home Staffing Quality of Care Act

Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence) and Rep. Scott A. Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence) will be introducing legislation that will establish a nursing home minimum staffing standard, raise wages for caregivers, and provide needed training opportunities for caregivers.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Sen. Metts proposes reform of asset forfeiture law
Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) is sponsoring legislation that aims to reform the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws to prevent Rhode Islanders from having their property unfairly seized or from facing an uphill battle to get it back when no crime has been proven.
Click here to see news release.

§  Bill would allow injured police dogs ambulance transport, EMT care

Rep. David A. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced a bill (2020-H 7124) to allow EMTs to provide emergency care to police dogs injured on duty and transport them to a veterinary facility.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Rep. Shanley introduces Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act
Rep. Evan P. Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick) has introduced legislation that would create a state-run retirement savings program for employees who do not have access to a retirement savings plan through work. The legislation (2020-H 7461) would establish a public corporation that would act as an investment board for the retirement savings trust. It would also allow for the creation of IRA-type retirement investments managed by the investment board.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Rep. McNamara bill would allow certain patients to use experimental drugs
Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced legislation (2020-H 7266) that would create the Rhode Island Terminally Ill Patients Right to Try Act of 2020, which would establish the conditions for the use of experimental treatments. Under the legislation, a clinical trial patient would have the right to continue the experimental treatment in a hospital setting, provided the patient or guardian signs a waiver of liability in favor of the hospital and its staff.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Sen. Gallo bill would allow, clarify funding of school field trips
Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick) has introduced legislation that would allow school committees to budget funding for school field trips. The legislation would guarantee that all students have the same ability to attend field trips. It would also allow schools to raise funds to supplement field trip funding. Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced a similar bill (2020-H 7069A) in the House.
Click here to see news release.

 

 

 

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For an electronic version of this and all press releases published by the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau, please visit our Web site at www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The federal government will keep running at least into December. President Trump signed a bill overnight to fund the government through December 11th. The government formally ran out of money when the 2020 fiscal year ended at midnight. Congress will have to deal with the budget after the election during a lame duck session of Congress.       The next presidential debate in two weeks will be a lot more structured than what the world saw Tuesday night. The Commission on Presidential Debates said Wednesday it's clear changes are needed. CBS News reports the new rules will include cutting off a candidate's microphone if he ignores the format..       Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale is leaving the campaign after police detained him for threatening to harm himself. Over the weekend, Parscale's wife called police and said Parscale was armed and threatening to kill himself. Parscale was recently demoted to digital media director.        Nearly 30-thousand airline workers could be out of work this morning. American Airlines confirmed Wednesday it's letting 19-thousand people go and United is going to furlough 13-thousand employees.        Victims and families of the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting are in line for a huge cash settlement. On Wednesday a judge approved a settlement calling for MGM Resorts International to pay 800-million-dollars to more than 44-hundred people. Today is the third anniversary of the attack that killed 58 people and wounded more than 800 at a country music festival on the Strip.        A large electronic mural honoring the late Congressman John Lewis is lighting up in Atlanta. The display that runs from today through Sunday coincides with Georgia's general election voter registration deadline, which comes up Monday.